ESA Science Faculty

These pages are designed to give an overview of the scientific research being conducted by ESA's Science Faculty.

ESA’s Science Directorate employs many scientists (as staff or contractors), whose role is to support the development, operation, and scientific exploitation of ESA’s scientific missions. In addition, many scientists carry out scientific research, which is usually (but not necessarily) related to the specific missions which they support. The Science Faculty is the name given to this group of active scientists, and its function is to promote scientific research activities and exchanges among its members, and to foster a productive scientific environment. Faculty members are active in a wide range of scientific fields, and maintain collaborations with many individuals and institutes outside ESA.

Faculty members are located at several ESA sites, the largest of which are ESTEC (in Noordwijk, The Netherlands) and ESAC (in Villafranca del Castillo, Spain). Smaller sites include the Space Telescope Science Institute (Baltimore, Maryland, USA), and Goddard Space Flight Center (Greenbelt, Maryland, USA). In addition, staff of the Spanish Centro de Astrobiología (CAB), co-located with ESAC, are also considered part of the Faculty.

The Faculty have access to funding which is not directly related to ESA projects, but is meant specifically to encourage scientific research by its members. This funding is used to support scientific projects, workshops, and collaborating visitors. For practical purposes, the allocation of this funding is managed separately at ESTEC and ESAC respectively; the smaller sites are managed by the ESAC committee.

Postdoctoral Research Fellows (RFs) play a key role in the Faculty's research activities. RFs are employed for 2-3 years and may elect to be located at any of the above sites, depending on the topic of their research and the location of their Faculty supervisor. Typically 8 new RFs are employed each year, and they are most often equally divided between ESTEC and ESAC.


If you are considering applying to become a Research Fellow in one of our establishments, please visit the page Research Fellowships in Space Science to find more information on the process and conditions to apply.

If you would like to learn more about the scientific research activities at one of our establishments, please visit one of these two pages:


If you would like to contact an individual member of the Faculty or learn more about his/her research activities, please look that person up by name in our Scientific Directory which covers all our sites.




To contact any Faculty member by email, please use the address depending on the location.

  • If the person resides at ESTEC, use the form
  • If the person resides at ESAC, use the form